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June 23, 2008

DVD Journal: "Shoot 'Em Up"

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --


This supercharged and hyperbolic action spoof is like a James Bond, showy-action-sequence extravaganza done to a punk-metal soundtrack. It exists in the same unreal gunplay-and-stunts universe as a John Woo movie, and features a hero-villain pairing deliberately reminiscent of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. Yet despite the absurdity it's played with straight-ahead intensity. And a glamorous, mischievous, and skillful cast that includes Clive Owen, Monica Bellucci, and Paul Giammati gives the film a lot of grit and allure. You want quirky, kickass, dirty-minded, bad-boy hijinks, in other words, you've come to the right place. Written and directed by Michael Davis, who perfected his craft and his tricks in a bunch of no-budget indie pix before coming out blazing with this spectacular thing.

Fast-Forwarding Score: Not a blam-blam-blam-blam frame.

Semi-related: A couple of recent thrillers that I've loved were "Cellular" and "Red Eye." In this blog posting I wrote about a handful of edgy-crazy-sexy films.



posted by Michael at June 23, 2008


Michael, I love it when you talk all down-market. The excellent 'Cellular' is short, pacey, almost-silly, with a sharp hook and characters that are sketched just enough for the action. Possibly better on a squeezy screen in black-and-white, maybe with Donna Reed as the mummy and guys like Frank Faylen and Dan Duryea in minor roles...

Bugger art, and pass the popcorn!

Posted by: Robert Townshend on June 23, 2008 4:06 AM

i liked "shoot 'em up'' though the tacked on gun control feel to the film was a little puzzling and the fact that bellucci wasn't naked was annoying. guess she only strips for people like bertrand blier. the film is like one big joke more then an actual film and you either dig it or you don't. a lot of people hated the film. with all the one liners clive owen gets to utter(and a fight falling from a plane that seemed inspired by a similar brawl roger moore took in "moonraker") i wondered why he wasn't interested in being james bond a few years prior. it's not like he takes himself too seriously as an actor doing stuff like this but oh well, i'm happy with daniel craig in that department.

Posted by: t. j. on June 25, 2008 8:53 AM

You said it all. I'm certain I must have been the only critic in the country to put this on her Top Ten list. (I always include one purely entertaining film; the year before it was "Casino Royale.") Sadly, "Shoot 'Em Up" didn't get the audience it deserved. I blame the marketing. I don't think the guys making the trailers knew what to make of the film. It's an homage to action movies and a send-up of them at the same time. That scene in which Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti go at each other IN THE AIR to the sound of AC/DC was priceless. I really enjoyed interviewing the director -- he seemed like he was STILL shocked and so pleased that Clive Owen agreed to be in his movie. It was cutely charming.

Posted by: KJT on June 27, 2008 5:20 PM

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